Washburn Point has a well marked parking lot and offers one of the easiest and most accessible places to view the upper Yosemite Valley. It also quickly dispels the notion that Half Dome is a half dome.
From the vantage point of Washburn it is very clear that Half Dome (the highest point in the middle of the picture above) is not a round dome at all. It is really a peak with a rather flat top and two steep sides.[sam id=1 codes=’false’]
The western face has been sheared off more than the eastern face by ancient glacial activity and erosion but a different perspective provided by Washburn Point gives more understanding and perhaps a better appreciation for the geological forces behind Half Dome.
From Washburn Point you can also appreciate why early geologist felt Half Dome would never be climbed. Today geologists believe that the top of Half Dome was the only peak in the area that wasn’t covered by ice during the Ice Ages.
While you’re admiring Half Dome from Washburn Point don’t fail to look to its right for the wonderful view of the two major falls on the Merced River: Nevada and Vernal.